NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Deputies with the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office arrested five men Monday in connection to allegations that they hit and kicked a 33-year-old man and later pulled an “assault rifle,” a handgun, and a knife on him.
Eduardo Colin, 21, Jonathan Diaz, 21, Jose Leonardo Mendoza, 19, Antonio Colin Peralta, 21, and Austin Deandre Whitaker, 18, all of Nacogdoches, were each charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, which is a first-degree felony. Each man's bail was set at $25,000.
According to the arrest affidavit, the victim walked out of the woods on Saturday and flagged down a Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputy who was about to go off-shift. The California man told the deputy that numerous Southside 13 gang members had “jumped” him near a mobile home in the 3000 block of Woden Road, where he had been staying with his sister and one of the suspects, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit stated that the victim showed signs consisted with the assault that he described. He also told the NCSO deputy that the suspects pulled at least two guns, one described as an assault rifle and the other a handgun, and a knife while they were punching and kicking him.
Because he was in fear for his life, the victim, ran away from the suspects on foot and was able to get away from them by jumping fences and eventually hiding in an old shed, the affidavit stated. He stayed there until daylight, walked out to Woden Road, and flagged down an NCSO patrol unit.
Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said that the boyfriend of the victim's sister accused the California man of stealing.
"He left the residence and came back with some more Southside 13 gang members who are from Nacogdoches," Bridges said. "At that point an altercation occurred where five known Southside gang members from Nacogdoches jumped on the victim in this case. They pulled out a knife, tried to stab him. He was able to get the knife away. He was able to get away from them at that point."
Bridges said he doesn't think the victim had anything to do with the alleged theft. He added that the victim "did admit being a past member years ago in California."
The affidavit stated that the sheriff's office's investigators were able to identify the five suspects by their street names and nicknames.